I have not built a computer, so this will be my first. I am looking around for the last piece i need, Thermal grease. And the more i look the more confused i am so i thought i would ask you forum geniuses = )
1. Being my first time should i play it safe with ceramic thermal grease?
2.Are ceramic greases that much less powerful?
3.What method of application should be used?
thermal greases are practically identical. during extended tests, Mayonnaise (the stuff you eat) has demonstrated to nearly as efficient as the best TIM. Ofc over time it would cook, but thats besides the point.
A good application is the most important factor. Buy some Artic Silver 5, or whatever the flavour of the month is, apply very, very little of it (YouTube can help you there), and enjoy.
Protip - don't buy anything with ridiculously long burn-in time or with difficult application processes.
fyi the new, basic Intel stock cooler that comes with IB chips is quite a lot better than you would expect. If you only need to overclock a few hundred megahertz, it will do just fine, and it comes with preapplied TIM>
If you are using stock cooling the stock cooler comes with TIM already applied. If you are buying an aftermarket cooler it will come with TIM.
I have used Arctic Silver Ceramique in the past and had very good results with it. Arctic Cooling MX 4 is great stuff and what I would recommend over Arctic Silver 5 as Artic Silver has a 200 hour cure time. I use IC Diamond myself but it will act as a polishing compound and take the writing off your CPU very easily and that voids the warranty so be careful using that.
Ceramic thermal paste is recommended because it has a low ELECTRICAL conductivity. So, if you make a mistake with it you are less likely to short something out. It also has no curing time, so the temps you get at start are the temps you will have later.
With a paste like AS 5, which is silver based, you usually have a cure time and so temps can change.
You can find any number of TIM roundups where various types are compared.